Bludgeoning the Corpse :: a ranty reflection by Neek


My name is Neek and I am about to rant about my favourite genre. Just thought I should warn you.

What started with swooning girls and vampires with glitter infections has now spawned the rise of a new kind of young adult book, whose authors story-telling credentials go as far as having a crush when they were 14. Cut to 25 years later, these girls have now grown up and much like a rabid dog wants to share its rabies, these ‘authors’ want to share what their hormone-fueled imagination dreamt up in the back row of Mr. Harrington’s math class so many years ago. So sit back, relax and enjoy a complete lobotomy that you can’t claim on Medicare.

The basic storyline of these books goes a little something like this: nothing’s happening, nothing’s happening, angst. Nothing’s happening, meets brooding-loner-guy. Angst about falling in love with brooding-loner-guy, nothing’s happening, finds out their love can never be, nothing’s happening, something about vampires/fallen angels. Angst, people might die or at least be put in a ‘dangerous’ situation, protagonists go through the ‘I love you, but no, I can’t!’ for a while, and somewhere in amongst all that there is a plot. Finally, there’s likely to be a sentence which implies more books to follow, at which point I start looking for the nearest and bluntest object.


Time for the checklist:
1. Whiny protagonists? –check
2. Instantaneous love? – check
3. Characters whose shallowness is so thorough it’s almost like depth? –check

Fantastic. Send it off to the publishers clamouring for anything they can jacket in black and red and you’ve got yourself one nifty little pay cheque. I am tired of shoddy imitation rather than true imagination.

This is my favourite genre dammit! Stop fouling the waters with pale imitations of fantastic books.

To any authors who may be reading this, for whom gen Y is a demographic and not a mindset, here’s a free tip for you: adding modern slang doesn’t endear a book to the young’uns…it comes off very condescending and irritating. Like, nothing’s as annoying as when, you’re like, in the middle of a totally huge moment in the story and so anyway, the main character acts like a complete spaz and you’re like, OMG Becky! Don’t go into the manky alley in the middle of the night, there’s totes a vampire with a complexion problem down there!

Sentences like “I couldn’t stop staring at his perfection” should incur immediate relocation to hell: preferably one of the inner-circles.

Authors and publishers: you are now bludgeoning the corpse of a genre that died an honourable death with ‘Buffy.’ Write something worth publishing or stop writing altogether, lest you sentence us all to bookstores full of red and black covers.

Neek for TLC Books


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